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OPINION

Mass Exodus from Blue States to Red States

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Democrats claim their policies are superior to Republicans, but they keep leaving their blue states and moving into red states. Democrats are known for taking over large urban areas and turning them blue, then deserting them as they become unpleasant to move on to better territory in red states where they make the same transformations. They increase taxes and regulations, making it expensive and annoying to live wherever they get into power. 

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According to United Van Lines, the top 10 states people are leaving include the blue states Wisconsin, Ohio, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Illinois. Only three red states made the list; Kentucky, Utah, and Kansas.

The top 10 states people are moving to include the red states Idaho, South Dakota, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Nevada and Colorado (the last two are purplish states). Only three solidly blue states made the list, Vermont, Oregon and Washington. In 2017, Vermont slipped, with its inbound and outbound moving becoming about equal. Notably, all three of those states used to be much more moderate, only turning blue within the past 25 years or so. Longtime residents in Washington and Oregon regularly rant about Californians taking over their states and turning them blue. People in Vermont complain about Democrats from Massachusetts and New York moving into their state. The bluer those three states become, the fewer people will move there as we’re already seeing with Vermont.

Last week, CBS in San Francisco reported that the number of people leaving the Bay Area reached its highest level in more than a decade. Topping the list of reasons for moving was the high cost of housing. Democrats are more reluctant than Republicans to allow permits for homebuilding, and pile on regulations.  

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With the exception of Houston, according to Redfin, the top nine cities people are leaving are all in blue states. Besides San Francisco, they include New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Chicago, Houston, Detroit, Dayton and Milwaukee. Los Angeles has the worst traffic in the world, and San Francisco is not far behind. Democrats are fond of diverting transportation money into public transportation and HOV lanes instead of easing traffic congestion with more traffic lanes. 

A majority of the top 10 cities people are moving to are located in red states. They include Phoenix, Atlanta, Dallas, Nashville, Tampa and Miami. The other cities are San Diego, Sacramento, Boston and Las Vegas, which is located in a purplish state.

Moving companies survey those moving as to why. Economic opportunities is a big reason. United Van Lines found that 60 percent of respondents from the Midwest move to take new employment or a job transfer. Michael Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, says two main reasons people move are for lower housing costs and higher job growth. 

Retiring in a better state is also a popular reason for moving. United Van Lines found 17 percent of those moving from the Midwest cited a different retirement location.

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The conservative American Legislative Exchange Council ranks states according to their economic performance. Many of the states that people are moving to are ranked toward the top. Seven are red states and one is purple. Many of the most common states that people are moving out of are clustered around the bottom of the list. The bottom 10 include Ohio, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut and Wisconsin.

People are leaving Los Angeles in droves, and blue California was ranked the last state in the country for business 12 years in a row, according to Chief Executive magazine’s annual Best and Worst States for Business survey of CEOs. Red Texas ranked number one the past 12 years. One CEO complained in the survey, “States like California just don’t get it. At the rate they are going, who’s going to pay the bills with such an anti-business, leftist government and businesses leaving every month for Arizona and Washington state?” California has the highest state income tax in the country. The survey also noted that the bottom 10 states are not right-to-work states, but most of the top 10 are. 

The reason California as a whole isn’t in the top 10 states people are leaving is likely due to its weather, which is a key reason people move. Likewise, the reason red Arizona isn’t in the top 10 states people are moving to is because it’s so hot. 

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Democrats will point to the handful of blue states and cities that are still popular locations to move to as evidence their policies aren’t all bad. But they’re in the minority, and trends are turning against them. Pretty soon the only blue areas people will be flocking to will be areas the Democrats recently turned blue. Democrats can talk the talk, but actions speak louder than words. 

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